AFP: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday his country would press on with its nuclear programme and was not afraid of pressure from the United States. "The people and the officials are not scared of the political threats made by the powers in the service of oppression," Khamenei was quoted as saying by state television during a meeting ...
Reuters: Iran looked set to avoid being reported to the United Nations Security Council on Monday after reaffirming its commitment to a deal meant to reassure the world it is not trying to build a nuclear bomb. But there were signs of mounting exasperation from Western diplomats after five days of chaotic to-and-fro in which Iran first raised fresh demands and then retreated from them.
Washington Post: Dropping a last-minute demand yesterday, Iran agreed to fully suspend its nuclear programs and won some additional concessions from Europe for a resolution that excludes many of the Bush administration's proposals for increasing pressure on the Islamic republic. The resolution, drafted by Britain, France and Germany, is the mildest of the seven previous resolutions against Iran and does not include the explicit threat the White House had sought for reporting Tehran to the U.N. Security Council if it breaks the latest suspension.
New York Times: Iran on Sunday backed off a demand to operate uranium enrichment equipment that could be used either for energy purposes or in a nuclear bomb-making project, European and Iranian officials said. The Iranian retreat appeared to salvage a nuclear agreement reached Nov. 15 between Iran and France, Britain and Germany to freeze all of Iran's uranium enrichment, conversion and reprocessing activities.
Los Angeles Times: Iran on Sunday agreed to halt its uranium enrichment activities, opening the way for the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency to sign the deal when it reconvenes here today, diplomats said. The deal with three major European nations virtually assured that Iran would not be referred to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.
AFP: Canada hit straight back on Sunday after Iran warned its new ambassador to Tehran would get into "trouble" if he pursued the case of a murdered Iranian-Canadian photographer, which has already sparked a diplomatic crisis. The killing of Zahra Kazemi last year, after she was arrested in Iran, sent relations between Ottawa and Tehran into turmoil.
Reuters: France, Britain and Germany finalized a draft resolution on Sunday that calls on Iran to freeze sensitive nuclear work, but does not make any threats of punitive action if Tehran resumes such work, the U.N. said.
Reuters:Iran has formally withdrawn its demand to exempt sensitive research from a freeze of key parts of its nuclear programme -- a last-minute bid to remove the threat of U.N. economic sanctions, Western diplomats say.
AFP: Iran backed down Sunday on a demand to exempt sensitive equipment from a freeze on uranium enrichment that can make atomic weapons, setting the stage for the UN nuclear watchdog to endorse the freeze as a confidence-building measure.
Press Association: The 300 men filling out forms in the offices of an Iranian aid group were offered three choices: train for suicide attacks against US troops in Iraq, or train for suicide attacks against Israelis. Or train to assassinate British author Salman Rushdie.
AFP: Canada's newly-appointed ambassador to Iran will get into "trouble" if he pursues the case of murdered Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi, Iran's foreign ministry warned Sunday. "If anyone enters Iran on this mission they get themselves into trouble. This is a domestic issue of the Islamic Republic of Iran," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
AP: Iran toughened its position over its nuclear program Sunday, vowing to maintain its demand to exempt 20 centrifuges it says it wants for research despite international efforts to save a deal committing Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment and all related activities. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also said Tehran was not worried about being referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.
New York Times: Iran's foreign minister said Saturday that Iran had every right to keep, for research purposes, some centrifuges that could be used to enrich uranium, an indication that a standoff on the country's nuclear program may not be easily resolved. "Iran's demand to keep 20 centrifuges is not against its commitments," said the minister, Kamal Kharrazi, the IRNA news agency reported.
New York Times: When Friday Prayer here finishes at about two o'clock in the afternoon, hundreds of worshipers parade toward waiting buses east of Tehran University, shouting canned rhetoric against America and Israel, defining themselves by their animosity toward others. Watching this ritual, one cannot help but ask a soul-searching question: "How can such a small minority of vocal people - totally orchestrated worshipers and their security guards - set the agenda for a nation of 70 million people?"
Reuters: France, Britain and Germany told Iran on Saturday if they had not reached a final agreement to freeze key parts of its atomic program by Monday, they would not stop moves to seek sanctions against Tehran, diplomats said. "The Iranians were told that if there's no deal by Monday, they (the EU) would no longer block a referral to the U.N. Security Council when the (U.N. nuclear watchdog) reconvenes," a Western diplomat told Reuters.